Saturday, February 28, 2015

Splenda Party Report from The Chocolate Cult

We've hosted a few parties here on The Chocolate Cult primarily with salespeople from chocolate companies coming in to "educate" and sell their goods. I've also used products at parties as ways to test them out such as the ZOKU quick pops this past Christmas.  This is the first time I've been asked to host a party focus solely on a brand, in this case Splenda. I connected with this company via the Crowdtap site that I'm a member of and which I've done some product testing of in the past. In this case I knew I could combine the three Splenda products I was sent with chocolate recipes because I've used Splenda many times in the past. Unfortunately the day of the party this happened -- snow, the most snow we'd had since November 2014. The snow continued to come down so the photo to the left is what it was that morning, it was higher by the time the party was scheduled for.

The kit came with the following items all in bright yellow:

1 Bag of SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend

1 Bag of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener

1 Bag of SPLENDA® Sugar Blend

1 Set of SPLENDA® Brand Coupons

10 SPLENDA® Brand Cutting Boards

10 SPLENDA® Brand Spatulas

10 SPLENDA® Brand Measuring Cups

10 SPLENDA® Brand Jump Ropes

10 SPLENDA® Brand Aprons

I made three recipes -- half the recipe with cane sugar, half with the appropriate form of Splenda. All other ingredients, the cooking environment, and the cooking methods were identical.

This is what I made and how they turned out.

Sugar vs. Splenda Milk Chocolate Caramel Sauce
Milk Chocolate Caramel Sauce -- Sugar version = 1823 total calories; Splenda version = 1437 total calories; Oddly the Splenda version allowed the chocolate chips to melt faster and more thoroughly while the sugar version had a problem of hardening up while it boiled.  Even more oddly the sugar version never held any shape even after cooling in the frig, it was really more a caramel sauce than caramel candy. The Splenda version held onto a shape better but was still very soft. I think part of the softness may have to do with the recipe I used but I was very surprised that the softer version was the cane sugar version. In terms of flavor, the sugar version was more milky and the Splenda version had a darker chocolate flavor even though both were made with milk chocolate chips.

Sugar vs. Splenda Cocoa Peppermint Cookies
Cocoa Peppermint Cookies -- Sugar version = 2462 total calories; Splenda version = 2327 total calories; The brown sugar version of these cookies were much flatter and more crisp than the Splenda version which was fluffier and had a lighter texture. However they tasted identical to most of the folks who tried them out so it really comes down to the texture you want.

Sugar vs. Splenda Duo Choco Chip Sugar Cookies


Duo Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies -- Sugar version = 2367 total calories; Splenda version = 1980 total calories; I noticed that the butter blended faster and more thoroughly in the Splenda version but the dough was thicker and made one fewer cookies; they looked very different once baked, the Sugar version was flatter and darker in color while the Splenda version didn't spread and remained pale; the Splenda version had a stronger flour flavor to it, it was as sweet and as chocolatey but also had more grain flavor.

Experimenting was very interesting as was hearing my guests give me feedback about the differences they perceived. But let's get back to the party and the snow. I laid out my table hoping for the best in terms of turnout.



Only one brave person managed to come. Everyone say "Hi" to Erica please. I'm the one in the Splenda apron which was one of the swag items for guests.

Chocolate Priestess + Guest

The next day is a normal friends over to our house day so I had more folks to try the treats out. Thank goodness I only made half batches of each type of treat or we'd still have them in the house. Not that any of these were horrible, nothing was over 107 calories a serving, but still I get tired of the same thing.


I still have swag left if anyone wants some and lives near me, give me a shout out and you can have some of them. Note: the Spatulas are all given away but the other items are available.


2 comments:

Steph Rocheleau said...

Thanks for the thorough testing results. It is very interesting to see the difference between the two sweeteners when it comes to baking. I love baking, but not all the calories usually associated with it; however, I'm not willing to sacrifice taste for a few calories. It would be a waste of time and good food to end up with something not fully enjoyable. Now I can decide if the tradeoffs are worth it for the recipe I want to make.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thank you for saying this, Steph. That really made my day. It was a bit of work and I'll share the recipes later on so I hope you check back. Splenda isn't ideal for everything, but they have different varieties so if you can get coupons and find it on sale, I'd say experiment.